In Ilin’s latest post ‘Getting back on track’, he said,
“If anyone who has not made their choice for a course next year reads this, I would suggest them to think carefully what they might like to do. A decision as important as this one might shape one’s entire life. Therefore, opposing a parent, for example, in favor of one’s own passions might be the wise thing to do” ©Ilin 2012
I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. I think you have to stick with your gut instincts when choosing a degree. A degree in any subject is a great achievement, and you shouldn’t be put off doing a particular subject just because you think your friends or parents wouldn’t ‘approve’. At the end of the day it’s your choice of degree as it’s you who’s going to be doing all the work.
You might think of doing a particular degree because it has ‘prestige’ or because that’s what everyone in your family wants you to do, or because you are worried about getting a job at the end of it. All I’d say is that you are much more likely to do well in a degree you enjoy. Of course for some careers you must have a certain qualification, but for the many of us who have little idea of where we’re headed, there is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ degree, and I’d sugest that no degree is any ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than any other.
When I heard of the American Studies degree, I was incredibly intersted, yet I tried to put myself off it at first because I’d never heard of such a subject before, and I was concerned at what my friends and family might think of me doing a new subject. Yet as soon as a I came in to see the department, I got a good feel for it, and I knew I would be suited to the course.
The thing I found most difficult about coming to University was being honest with myself. When we go to Uni, it feels like we’re trying to impress other people: our parents, our siblings, our colleagues and our friends. But the person who you really have to impress is yourself.
It is a real privilidge to go to University, so I hope you spend your time studying what you really want. However, changing your mindset so that you are not influenced by others is a big challenge. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of University is encountered before you ever step out of the front door.
Footnote: if you’re wondering who Ilin is, he was one of the bloggers during the first year of the blogging team.